Article Abstract

Covered biliary stents with proximal bare stent extension for the palliation of malignant biliary disease: can we reduce tumour overgrowth rate?

Authors: Miltiadis Krokidis, Adam Hatzidakis


Background: Covered biliary stents have shown significant effectiveness in the palliative management of patients with malignant biliary disease due to prevention of tumour ingrowth. However, stent dysfunction may still occur due to growth of tumour at the borders of the covered stent (tumour overgrowth). The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of a bare extension in the prevention of tumour overgrowth when covered stents are used in the palliative treatment of malignant biliary strictures.
Methods: This is a prospective, single arm, cohort study. Twenty-two patients with inoperable malignant biliary strictures in the distal common bile duct (Bismuth I−II) and life expectancy more than 6 months were included in the study. The combination of a fully covered biliary stent and a bare proximal and distal extension was used in all cases. All patients were followed-up until death. Primary patency, survival, complication rates and dysfunction cause were assessed.
Results: Mean survival was 263.7 days (median 255, SD: 77.6). Mean patency was 240 days (median: 237, SD: 87). The primary patency rate at 3, 6 and 12 months was 90%, 86% and 86% respectively. Tumour in- or overgrowth did not occur in any of the patients. Dysfunction due to sludge formation occurred in three cases; all three were treated with bilioplasty.
Conclusions: The combined use of a covered biliary stent and a bare extension appears to be a very effective tool in the palliation of malignant biliary disease, offering long-term patency for patients with inoperable malignant distal common bile duct strictures and increasing the quality of life of such patients.